Telus profit rises wireless, TV growth

Wed May 9, 2012 10:13am EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Telus Corp (T.TO: Quote) posted a 6 percent rise in first-quarter profit on Wednesday after notching growth from its Optik TV service and signing up a solid number of valuable wireless customers using smartphones.

Canada's third-largest wireless company, which also offers landline phone, Internet and television services, said net profit rose to C$348 million ($347.6 million), or C$1.07 a share, in the three months ended March 31 from C$328 million, or C$1.01, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose 4 percent to C$2.6 billion.

Telus added 63,000 net postpaid subscribers, who sign multi-year contracts to use the latest devices and typically pay four times more a month than pre-paid users.

Telus said its cost of retaining wireless customers rose 4 percent while the average monthly bill it collects rose 1.7 percent as the company signed up more customers to high-end phones such as the iPhone.

Telus and other carriers spend heavily to subsidize sales of Apple Inc's iPhone and other high-end devices.

Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote), Canada's largest wireless provider, said last month it added 47,000 postpaid customers in the quarter, while the country's largest telecom company BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote) added more than 62,000.

Telus added 44,000 television customers as it aggressively built and promoted its Internet-based Optik TV service, which is making inroads against its cable rival Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO: Quote).

It doubled an earlier estimate of restructuring costs for 2012 to C$50 million, but that landline profit targets were still achievable. It also confirmed other full year targets.

Telus is withdrawing its proposal to convert its non-voting shares to common shares, following a run-in with dissident shareholder Mason Capital, the company said earlier on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore)